Son in the dogbox after losing Zoe

23:41, Jul 31 2012
Zoe the missing dog
Zoe, a 9-year-old fox terrier, went missing in Tararua Range on Saturday.

Wellington dog Zoe is safely back home after sleeping rough in the northern Tararua Range over the weekend.

Zoe, a 9-year-old fox terrier, went missing on Saturday while on a five-hour walk with Berhampore builder Frank Feeney.

Frank's mum and Zoe's owner, Teresa Feeney, 88, of Melrose, handed over custody of the dog to her son for the weekend - not knowing her son would set out to put Zoe through an endurance test in the Tararuas.

Frank and Zoe entered the Tararuas from Shannon and set out on walk near the Mangahao upper number one  reservoir.

They were almost at the end of the walk when Zoe left the track and headed off in to the bush for a solo two-day adventure excursion.

Mrs Feeney's daughter Mary Silvester said Frank was 'in disgrace" with his mother because the elderly dog owner had no idea Zoe, a couch potato who loves lounge heaters, would be out hiking in the northern Tararuas over the weekend.   

Frank, who is in the dogbox with his mother, remained in the area for the weekend looking for Zoe.

About midday on Monday, Zoe strolled up to searchers, who were boiling a brew at a hut.

Mrs Feeney was over the moon with the news that Zoe had come through her ordeal "safe and sound". 

Back home, Zoeresumed her protective role as an extra pair of ears for Mrs  Feeney who is hard of hearing.

The Tararua trek was Zoe's first major excursion in to the bush and Mrs Feeney said it would most definitely be her last.

"I didn't sleep very well at all when she was away. She's a survivor," she said.

Contact Tim Donoghue
General reporter


Teresa Feeney
Teresa Feeney at home with Zoe.

The Dominion Post